California Rep. Devin Nunes one day will be "hailed as a great American hero,” President Donald Trump said during a phone interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday.
The Republican lawmaker has been a staunch defender of the president, particularly by making use of his former position as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to muddy public opinion of the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.
“Devin Nunes is someday going to be hailed as a great American hero,” The Hill reported Trump as saying to Hannity. “They tried to destroy that man because he spoke up for good and just and all of the things that you have to speak up for but most people don’t have the courage to do it.”
Trump has sung Nunes’ praises before, tweeting in early 2018 — after the infamous “Nunes memo” dropped, alleging abuse of power by the Justice Department — writing: “Representative Devin Nunes, a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!”
The president’s interview with Hannity was the first since special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his final report to Attorney General William Barr on Friday, which Trump has said revealed “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.”
Despite the president’s celebratory remarks, in a letter summarizing the report for Congress, Barr quoted Mueller as writing, “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”